Indiana Daily Student

Student organizations offer second semester involvement

<p>Members of the Indiana Canine Assistant Network participate in their Destress with Dogs event from the fall 2017 semester. The dogs were brought in to help students destress during finals week.</p>

Members of the Indiana Canine Assistant Network participate in their Destress with Dogs event from the fall 2017 semester. The dogs were brought in to help students destress during finals week.

Navigating new classes, readjusting to campus life and bearing the cold is not always enough for students who like to keep their planners packed. 

The Student Involvement Fair is planned for January at the Indiana Memorial Union. But for those eager to dive right back into activities, some student organizations have already scheduled events to kick off the spring semester. Here's some information about three student groups.

Indiana Canine Assistant Network

Indiana Canine Assistant Network, a club founded last fall which trains and spreads awareness about service dogs, will put on a call out meeting Jan. 18 and their first general meeting Feb. 1. ICAN Co-President Julie Mathias said students can almost always expect to see service dogs from the Bloomington community at meetings, but their focus is education.

Service dog Koontz sits outside near the Woodburn clock tower. Koontz is one of a number of dogs that has been working with the Indiana Canine Assistant Network. Courtesy Photo

“There's so much people don't know about service dogs,” ICAN Co-President Ashton Asbury said. “We get a lot of questions and a lot of stares and it’s a great opportunity to educate.”

ICAN works with prisons and community volunteers to simultaneously train service dogs and help incarcerated individuals prepare for an easier integration into public life. 

Mathias and Asbury trained a service dog the fall 2017 semester as a pilot program for future student volunteers. As community trainers, Mathias and Asbury were given dogs for three week periods to offset six weeks of the dogs’ training with prisoners.

While they were initially concerned about housing the dogs on campus, Mathias and Asbury hosted the dogs overnight in Union Street Center and Wright Quad without problems.

No Lost Generation

For aspiring volunteers who are not inclined toward furry animals, students can explore a multitude of philanthropic efforts on community, state and even global levels through other IU student groups. 

No Lost Generation, which focuses on advocacy and fundraising for refugee resettlement, will put on a monthly salsa dance fundraiser at 10 p.m. Fridays at Falafels. A $5 admission fee covers an entire night of salsa dancing and will support Venezuelan asylum seekers re-settling in Bloomington.

To further awareness of global refugee crises, the organization will put on a panel Jan. 19 at Ivy Tech Community College to kick off several informational conferences and lectures planned for this semester. 

 No Lost Generation Co-President Lydia Lahey said she loves how the club fuels constant learning, which she then applies to both her academic and social lives. 

“The organization creates this beautiful circle that I am able to whirl in academically and also socially," she said. "I like that. I'm always learning no matter what, and I always love everything I learn.”

Public Relations Student Society of America at IU

To further the connection between academics and extracurriculars, IU professional organizations offer hands-on experiences in various career paths.

One such organization, Public Relations Student Society of America at IU, has planned several agency tours and guest speakers to help students interested in public relations explore the field. 

“PR isn't necessarily what you learn in class," PRSSA President at IU Caitlin Blackford said. "Joining PRSSA has kind of showed me what PR really is.” 

The club will start the semester with a corporate trip in Indianapolis, including tours of the public relations and communications departments at Eskenazi Health and the Children’s Museum. They have also planned a sports public relations tour in February and a Chicago overnight agency tour in March. 

PRSSA will hold a call-out meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 18 in Franklin Hall 312.

To search for organizations and events for all types of interests, students can check out IU’s beINvolved website. The website allows students to complete searches, and it lists organizations’ contact information. 

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